Fascists, bookmakers, and unhappy Italians are all out to get a wealthy Australian artist.
It's 1934, and Rowland Sinclair’s rich, well-connected family (A Murder Unmentioned, 2019, etc.) heartily disapproves of his career as an artist and even more emphatically of the leftist friends who live with their black sheep on his family’s Sydney estate: Milton Isaacs, Clyde Watson Jones, and sculptress Edna Higgins, the woman Rowly loves. After Rowly arranges to drive his 1927 Mercedes S-Class in a race to raise money for the Red Cross, he’s interviewed by reporter Crispin White, who wonders aloud why Rowly drives a German car and whether he knows that the racetrack is cursed. It turns out that Milton, a poet, knew White, who had deserted Milt’s pregnant cousin. When White is found murdered in Magdalene’s House of the Macabre, Milt is a prime suspect. Just as Hitler is consolidating his power, Rowly, who has suffered physically and mentally at the hands of Nazi bullies during a trip to Germany, plans to reveal their evil doings through an art exhibit portraying the horrible things he saw there. But first he must finish the paintings and get through the race. His team includes Joan Richmond, an accomplished race car driver, and the actor Errol Flynn, who’s more at home on boats. Once Rowly's team becomes the favorite, bookmakers who stand to lose a great deal try to intimidate them into throwing the race. Not even getting shot at and involved in a deadly accident deter Rowly from trying to protect his friends by solving the murder while revealing the dangers of fascism.
A riveting look at Australian life and politics between the great wars through the eyes of a gentleman hero.